February 5, 2017 Subject:
San Michele Story from Saint Michel!
No more a saint than Axel Munthe and nothing to compare with him, I know! I was lucky enough to visit this wonderful Villa in June 2016 following an exhilarating mini bus drive to Anacapri. One thing that puzzled me was a Swedish flag floating amongst the Italian flags. This is when I became aware of Axel Munthe extraordinary life and story.
Upon my return in Sydney Australia I researched a little more about it and doing so I was steered towards The Story of San Michele. This book is now free of copy rights I understand and I managed to get it on my electronic devices through "Internet archive.org" and even a copy from it to my mobile phone using Kindle and permanently on the device....with only a little glitch, it's full of unwanted characters although quite readable!
I only read once in a blue moon but this book got me interested straight away as it touches several aspect of my personal life.
Certainly my Capri visit was the starting ingredient, but this Swedish Doctor describes part of his working life in Paris Latin Quarter were I was born so it was full of mentions about areas or topics, that for the least were familiar to me by name Then he speaks a lot about people with mental ailment and some of their benefactor if i can use this word, such as Charcot. My second career that lasted almost 40 years was psychiatric nursing so I often could associate with what the author wrote. And lastly about his rapport with animals...I always loved animals (my first "career" was dairy farmer). I don't mean that I was a special person to them but domestic and wild animal had a great place in my mind and heart since my early days, regardless on how I managed these feelings. (I'm writing this next to my wonderful German Shepherd, Sasha sitting on her favourite chair unaware of my present thoughts (I imagine Axel Munthe would not have settled for "unaware"!)
I had some problem to sort out where reality and fantasy were separated in his book but enjoyed the ride just the same. I also felt lucky to be familiar with French, English and some Spanish to help me with his foreign language and expressions. Yes there is quite a few of them and although Spanish is quite different from Italian it did now and then help. But there were many of these I missed along some names and words beyond my knowledge.
However again I enjoyed the "ride" which at time was rather bumpy or strenuous when one realises his life pathway through human calamity and natural disasters.
As a conclusion I count myself very privileged to have come across this wonderful story.
I do like to review movies and never give a rating but I'll make an exception here and give it full rating!